Share This Page

Penn State gets verbal commitment from Maryland defensive end

| Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 3:42 p.m.

Eleven days after Penn State secured its first verbal commitment for the Class of 2016, the Nittany Lions landed another highly regarded prospect.

Shane Simmons, a junior at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md., and one of the country's top defensive ends as ranked by recruiting services, announced he intends to attend Penn State.

The 6-foot-4, 223-pound Simmons is rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and a five-star prospect by 247Sports.com. He had more than two dozen scholarship offers, choosing Penn State over finalists Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State and Maryland.

Simmons joins Woodland Hills running back Miles Sanders as early members of PSU's 2016 class.

“Penn State is a great place,” Simmons said in a ceremony at his school that ESPN streamed online. “When I got on campus, it just felt like home. ... It's close to home but far enough away where I can become a man.”

Lions coach James Franklin tweeted his trademark “#WeAre … Better” that signifies a verbal commitment. Five assistants tweeted similarly, including defensive line coach Sean Spencer and running backs coach Charles Huff, who were Simmons' primary recruiters.

Penn State's roster has two DeMatha alumni.

Longtime former PSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson — now with Ohio State — was known for his recruiting in the Maryland-Virginia-Washington, D.C., area. Penn State's nationally ranked 2015 class has five players from there. Simmons mentioned three by name as friends.

Simmons also vowed to join Sanders in recruiting other top prospects to join them in University Park. In particular, DeMatha has three other players Rivals rates as four-star 2016 prospects — Simmons mentioned two and implied he would work to get them to Penn State.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding until a letter of intent is signed during a prospect's senior year of high school.

Note: Former Penn State All-American and NFL linebacker Dan Connor was hired as linebackers coach at Division II West Chester. Connor played for the Nittany Lions from 2004-07 and with three NFL teams before retiring after last season.

Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at cadamski@triblive.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.